Chhavi Mittal shares her thoughts on breastfeeding in public. It is high time society gives new moms comfort and supports them in exercising their choice to breastfeed in public without any stress.
Breastfeeding in public has been a topic of discussion for quite some time now. It is sad to know that women, who propagate public breastfeeding are perceived as modern-day pseudo feminists.
But what people forget is that breastfeeding in public has been happening since time immemorial. Rural India shows more acceptance of public breastfeeding than urban India.
And, one of the major reasons why public breastfeeding is shunned by so many lies in the notion that breasts, a mammary organ whose primary function is to feed a baby, have been sexualized so badly that it has become tough to see them for what they are.
Though many of us feel it is a matter of choice, we do feel that new moms should not be made uncomfortable by the shaming stares if they choose to breastfeed in public.
Recently, Chhavi in conversation with the TOI, spoke about breastfeeding in public. We feel her words are the best reply for people who shame mothers:
“Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing between a mother and a child and it’s a bond that is impossible to break.
Those 20 minutes with the baby is bliss. So I like that ‘us’ time to be secluded and with no one around.
Yes, there are times when we have to step out of the house with the baby. Public breastfeeding should be allowed.
If you are allowed to smoke, drink, abuse in public, why not breastfeeding?
It’s the most beautiful and natural thing to do. All of us have done it at some point in time. Why shy away from it?“
Though many new moms themselves are not comfortable breastfeeding in public. However, there is a growing chunk of women who want to breastfeed publicly, but they are embarrassed about doing so because they fear how other people may react.
Some of them have experienced unwelcomed gestures and remarks from people around them, which force them to avoid it.
We feel it is high time that society changes the objectification of breasts.
As a society, we need to remember that primarily breasts are there to nourish the baby. This change in perception may give new moms a real choice of breastfeeding in public.
Our society needs to understand: Breastfeeding is Beautiful! Breastfeeding is essential for survival!
We would love to hear your thoughts on ‘Breastfeeding in Public’ and do you think new moms have a real choice to breastfeed their babies in public in India.